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Triple R Nutrition 2024: Replenish - Repair - Restore Delivery Rank Interview

By Sarah Kirton

Updated on February 23rd, 2024

Fact checked by Deborah Leigh

Follow this link to check out Interview on Delivery Rank’s Website

Shirey Horner is a Bachelor of Science graduate in Human and Health Performances, an ACSM Exercise Physiologist, PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach, and a Certified Functional Nutrition & Lifestyle Practitioner. Shirey's journey with Triple R Nutrition began from her own quest to Replenish, Repair, and Restore her health. Over the past 20 years, she has helped women lead happier and healthier lives. Shirey's passion for health and wellness began in her teens when she decided to pursue a healthier lifestyle. Despite her family's drug and alcohol issues and mental health struggles, she found faith and began making positive changes in her life. Her interest in anatomy led her to a career in health and wellness, where she started as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. After experiencing symptoms and grief from losing loved ones, Shirey discovered Functional Nutrition, which focuses on the root causes of symptoms by examining all aspects of lifestyle, including the mind-body connection. DeliveryRank finds out more. 

Shirey, can you explain how your experience with heavy metal toxicity and trauma led you to specialize in functional nutrition, and how it informs your approach to helping others? 

It probably took me over five years and multiple doctors before I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's, an autoimmune thyroid disorder. Even then, they just prescribed thyroid hormone replacement without addressing my symptoms. I experienced severe anxiety, weight gain, and pain. I remember one day, my conventional doctor told me that my thyroid antibodies were going up despite the medication, with a note to work on my diet. As a nutrition coach and personal trainer, I already had a healthy diet, so I felt frustrated. I knew there had to be more to it. I started doing my own research, considering my difficult childhood and trauma history. I had 6 out of 10 adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), which increases the risk of chronic illness. I had also experienced trauma and loss as an adult which only compounded my nervous system issues.  

Understanding epigenetics and trauma, I realized how these factors were connected. I discovered I had an MTHFR mutation, which affects detoxification. Growing up in a stressful environment, in fight or flight mode, impacted my ability to rest, digest, and heal. This environment, combined with genetic predispositions and inherited triggers, led to health issues. Functional nutrition, which looks at the root causes, became my focus. I buried myself in research, training, and visited a functional doctor. Heavy metal testing revealed levels 25 times higher than normal. Despite ongoing research, I continue to learn and understand the complexities of my health. I use that same curiosity and understanding to help my clients get to the root of their symptoms and to address issues like trauma, gut issues, heavy metal and mold exposure and parasites.  

What sets your root resolution program apart from traditional approaches to nutrition and wellness? 

I followed traditional approaches as a nutrition coach, counting calories, tracking macros, and emphasizing fiber intake for myself and my clients. I dislike the idea that "you are what you eat," preferring to focus on what our bodies can do with the food we eat. Understanding that digestion and food sensitivities are crucial, I underwent food sensitivity testing and eliminated many foods due to my reactive digestive system. However, I later realized this wasn't addressing the root problem but merely a symptom.  

In my root resolution program, I analyze individuals' physiology, backgrounds, reactions to food, digestion, detoxification, and the gut-brain connection. By staying curious and recognizing each person's unique journey, we can gradually reduce symptoms. Many people struggle to heal because their bodies have been on high alert due to past experiences, locking down like a scared homeowner. This defensive state can result from various triggers, not just physical trauma. The body needs to feel safe to heal, often requiring a shift in how cells function.  

My program involves an intake process, a Gene Map assessment for genetic triggers, a symptom tracker and a step-by-step approach to see how the body responds. Collaboration with doctors enhances the process, as they can run tests and provide valuable input. While I am not a doctor, I work closely with them to provide comprehensive support as a nutrition counselor and educator. 

How do you address the gut-brain connection in your practice, and why is it important for overall health and healing? 

The first step is accepting that you won't solve all your problems immediately, as this mindset can lead to feeling unsafe in your body. Clients need to understand that it's okay not to be okay and to acknowledge their body's signals while reassuring themselves that they will be okay. Rather than focusing solely on fixing issues, we should honor our bodies' abilities and learn to manage them.  

Next, we work on shifting the brain out of fight-or-flight or freeze mode, if applicable. This involves practices like deep breathing, eye yoga, or other forms of vagal nerve stimulation. Singing is particularly effective, as it engages the breath control and voice box, stimulating the vagus nerve that connects the gut and brain. Transitioning into rest-and-digest mode allows the parasympathetic side of the nervous system to dominate, promoting healing. This process is not simple, as buried emotions and trauma can take time to address.  

One significant example of this approach's impact is its effect on women's hormonal balance. Prolonged stress can lead to hormonal imbalances, such as estrogen dominance, due to the body prioritizing stress hormones over others like progesterone. This holistic approach, which considers trauma and nervous system regulation, is often overlooked by many practitioners, highlighting the importance of finding a healthcare provider who understands these aspects. 

How do you integrate your background as an ACSM Exercise Physiologist into your approach to functional nutrition and lifestyle coaching for women? 

I believe that movement is crucial for overall health, particularly for the lymphatic system, which plays a vital role in detoxification. It's important to focus on the lymphatics in any detox program. I'm not overly concerned about my clients following a specific exercise program; rather, I encourage them to simply get moving and stay active.  

With my background in exercise as a personal trainer for over 20 years, I can recommend suitable movements for individuals with arthritis or pain. I've had the opportunity to work with doctors and physical therapists on complex cases, so I can help clients make modifications to their movements to work around pain. This is especially important for those who have been inactive due to pain. 

What advice do you have for women who may be struggling with symptoms like anxiety, weight gain, or digestive issues but are unsure of where to start in improving their health? 

I believe the first step is to recognize that your body is signaling that something is not right or that it doesn't feel safe. Instead of resisting these signals, we need to offer our bodies comfort and love. It's important to reassure our bodies that everything will be okay. Managing stress is crucial and often more important than our diet in a lot of cases. Deep breathing and finding calming activities that you enjoy can help manage stress. Connecting with nature and others can also release feel-good hormones. It's essential to believe that reducing symptoms and reaching your goals is possible. Managing stress and adopting a positive mindset are key first steps before addressing other factors like mold, parasites, or metals. 

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